If you go to the beach nearly anywhere in the world, you’ll find evidence of humanity washing up just about everywhere. Balloons, cigarette butts, and bits of plastic are very common to find on coastlines everywhere. Taking the time to clean up beach litter has numerous benefits, from saving animals to improving the local economy! Read on to see the top 10 benefits of cleaning up your local beach.
You save marine animals
Over the past few years, the world has woken up to horrifying headlines about sea life that has unfortunately died due to consuming or being trapped by the waste we throw in the oceans. When our garbage washes up on coastlines, it gives us an opportunity to remove it before the tide washes it back out. Removing litter that we finds on the beach guarantees that marine wildlife won’t come into contact with it and perhaps find itself imperiled in some way or another.
You preserve our natural treasures
Beaches are diverse, beautiful, natural treasures that are here for all of us to explore and enjoy together. Unfortunately, trash on our beaches jeopardizes these shared natural treasures. By cleaning up the beach, you ensure that visitors from all over the world can enjoy your beaches fully.
You keep toxic chemicals out of the water
Cigarette butts are the most frequently littered item on Earth. As you might expect, this litter is one of the most commonly found bits of trash found in the ocean. Cigarette butts are small, but they make a big impact on clean water. After just one hour of exposure, a cigarette butt can contaminate almost 8 liters of water with unhealthy and dangerous chemicals. If you picked just 10 cigarette butts up off the ground, you’re saving nearly 800 liters of water from contamination!
You help the local economy
Seaside communities around the world get a huge boost to their economies from both fishing and tourism. When beaches are free of litter, tourists and visitors are much more likely to enjoy them and spend money at businesses near the beaches. If the water is clear of litter, fishers as well as tourist-oriented businesses like scuba diving tours are more likely to be able to make a solid living for themselves. Your beach cleanup will help the local economy!
You create a safer environment
Litter isn’t just unsightly, but it can actually be dangerous. Metal with sharp edges and pieces of glass can create a public health hazard just as much as an aesthetic one. These sharp pieces of litter can easily hide in sand and cause serious injuries! If you see items like this, be extra cautious when picking them up so not to injure yourself.
You can dispose of waste the right way
One of the beautiful things about doing litter cleanups yourself is that you get the opportunity to dispose of the waste you find the right way. So many recyclable and compostable items find their way in the landfill where they can’t properly break down. When you’re cleaning up litter, take care to recycle and compost what you can!
You make seafood safer
They say what goes in the ocean ends up inside of you, particularly if you eat seafood! According to one study conducted at Ghent University in Belgium, the average seafood eater is consuming 11,000 tiny fragments of plastic every year. The chemicals in these plastics can accumulate in our bodies over time and eventually cause health problems. So cleaning up your local beach means creating a healthier world.
You get to be outside
Sand between your toes, sunshine beaming down on you, and a fresh sea breeze is our idea of a good time! One of the best things about beach cleanups is that you get to be outside, see all the natural beauty of the sea and the beaches near you, and spend your day doing something wonderful in nature!
You meet tons of new people
Visit most beaches around the world and you’ll find you aren’t alone! There are usually lots of people milling about, enjoying the fresh ocean air and the sunshine. Picking up litter isn’t something everyone does, so you’re bound to attract a little bit of attention! People will want to talk to you about what you’re doing and maybe even get involved! Cleaning up your local beach means meeting lots of new people.
You get some good exercise
>Walking on the beach is actually better for you than walking on paved, flat surfaces, as the sand makes it a little more challenging to move. You burn more calories, engage your stabilizing muscles more, and even improve your coordination. Walking on sand even makes your feet stronger! Beach exercise is pretty much the best.